We just got a call from the new owner of our small sloop Velella. He loves the boat and has taken it down the Whitsundays. He called to tell us that when he took it out of the water an engineer informed him that the Gori 2 blade folding prop we purchased from Yanmar along with the 10gm saildrive had the wrong pitch for the engine. He didn't seem too concerned and is now getting a new prop that will deliver a more appropriate thrust for the engine. Sailing Velella around the top of Australia to Cairns we just assumed the lack of power was due to the small engine.
You live and learn eh?
Now with a 33' Alajuela cutter we are preparing for some blue water extended cruising in the new year, our experience with Velalla has got me thinking about props.
Mico has a displacement of 6.14 tonnes and is powered by an Iveco 39 hp diesel driving a bronze, fixed, 2 blade prop with a 420 mm diameter via a 25mm stainless shaft - I don't know its pitch.
We are taking Mico out of the water next month for the first time (for us) to do a few modifications in preparation for next year. I have dived on the hull a number of times and the current prop looks ok although a bit on the 'thin' side.
The biggest job we will be doing will be remounting the engine (80hrs) on some proper mounts. The previous owner installed the new engine without mounts - simply coach bolting it to the engine bearers. The engine runs fine but the thought of a year at sea with the constant vibration we experience is too much to contemplate
It's not going to be a cheap exercise but a local marine engineering company has given us a price and will be remounting the engine.
So my question/s - should we also look at getting a folding prop and keep the current one as a spare? Do all you world cruisers carry a spare prop? What prop should we be looking at? Fixed, folding or feathered?
Mico has done one circumnavigation so we are confident she will do another - but being cautious yachties - we are more inclined to over engineer and be over prepared (if there is such a thing).
We'd love to hear of your experience.
Robin & Shaun